07/11/2012, 00.00
HONG KONG - CHINA

Card. Zen and Hong Kong Catholics protest China's violations of religious freedom

Eugenia Zhang
The protest was held outside the office of the central government in Hong Kong, for the release of Msgr. Ma Daqin, auxiliary bishop of Shanghai and all Chinese Catholics. Ordained on 7 July, the prelate has been confined to the seminary of Sheshan for days for his resignation from the Patriotic Association. Beijing censors Church websites with information concerning the ordination of Msgr. Ma

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Cardinal Joseph Ze-Kiun, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, and a dozen local Catholics (see photo) marched to the China Liaison Office, de facto office of central government in Hong Kong, protested against the crackdown on religious freedom in China, and demanded the release of Auxiliary Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai, who is now "taking rest" in Sheshan seminary, outskirt of Shanghai.

Representatives of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic diocese here criticized the Chinese government's move of restricting the freedom of Bishop Ma after he declared giving up all duties with the Patriotic Association during his ordination on July 7.

The Catholics said Bishop Ma was expressing his intention, and accused the authorities' actions as "barbaric" and demanded the release of all detained Catholics.

They also mentioned some Catholic websites in China were warned to remove all the reports on Bishop Ma. "This gravely impedes the freedom of press and expression," the protesters noted.

They also expressed condemnation on the illicit ordination of Father Yue Fusheng in Harbin on July 6. The Holy See has expressed opposition to the episcopal ordination without papal approval, but the Patriotic Association and local government still forced "this tragedy" to happen and brought great pain and tension to the Church.

 

"This will neither help the normal development of the Church in China, nor improve the China-Vatican relations," the Catholic protesters noted. The protesters tied the papers written "Stop crackdown; Demand religious freedom" onto the railings outside the China Liaison Office and left the scene.

 

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